Government Initiatives February 28 – March 6, 2021

Prioritising Agriculture

Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha at Horticulture Expo- 2021.

The agriculture sector is expected to get more share of the Jammu and Kashmir’s budget in future as authorities develop a unique Sustainable Agriculture Plan. The plan was revealed last week by Lt Governor Manoj Sinha at the Horti-Expo 2021. The promotion of local produce and taking it to the global market will be the key focus for budgetary allocations. Joshi said the Mandis would stay and would be strengthened and modernized next fiscal. The government is also setting up Farmers Producers Organizations in all the 20 districts in the next quarter to strengthen business activities related to agriculture and horticulture. For the convenience of the farmers, a free thresher will be provided in every panchayat. Road Tax on Tractors up to 3000 CC capacity is being exempted and no tax will be paid on power tillers.

Easing Business

One of the most photographed curves on the road to Gulmarg. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

In order to promote ‘Ease of Doing Business’ the government notified the J&K Stone Crushers/ Hot and Wet Mixing Plants Regulation Rules, 2021 which have dispensed away the requirement of a license to start operation of stone crushers/ hot and wet mixing plants in Jammu and Kashmir. The decision is aimed to facilitate the establishment and functioning of these units to boost the supply of raw material required in the construction sector. This will also expedite the completion of various projects in Jammu & Kashmir. The new rules recognize a stone crusher/hot and wet mixing plant as a mineral-based (raw material) processing unit different from those indulged in mineral mining activity. Moreover, the rules also simplify the unit establishment process by reducing the requisite clearances/ NOCs to merely two documents namely – Consent to Operate (CTO) from the Pollution Control Board (PCB) and NOC from the concerned Deputy Commissioner regarding the title of land and its usage. Issuance of district-level NOC has been brought under the J&K Public Services Guarantee Act, 2011 making it mandatory to issue the document within 30 days.

Vocal For The Local

The government e-marketing will have local filters from February 25, 2021, enabling the departments to procure Goods and Services from the local manufacturers. It was one of the important components of the economic package announced recently for boosting local entrepreneurship. The local filters and MSME filters can be used together for procurements made-up to Rs 5.00 lacs from local manufacturers. For purchases above Rs 5.00 lacs additional terms and conditions clause can be used by the departments for restricting procurement within a geographical limit, through the process of bidding on the GeM. For creating ample awareness in this regard Finance Department in collaboration with the Industries and Commerce Department will be organising series of workshops to train traders/manufacturers regarding steps to be followed for registration on GeM.

Preserving Biodiversity

DC Baramulla Reviews Functioning of Biodiversity Management Committees

The first meeting of Jammu and Kashmir Biodiversity Council discussed conservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of its components and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of biological resources and knowledge. The meeting was apprised of the progress made on the constitution of Biodiversity Management Committees and status on the preparation of People’s Biodiversity Registers in Jammu & Kashmir. The BMCs have been constituted for 276 Intermediate Panchayats (Block Level), 4290 Village Panchayats and 71 Urban Local Bodies. The preparation of PBRs has also been completed in 4290 Village Panchayats and 71 Urban Local Bodies with the help of nine different line departments and consultation with members of Biodiversity Management Committees and other people and experts in biodiversity, indigenous knowledge and traditional practices. The important decisions taken include time-bound up-dation of People’s Biodiversity Registers and initiating collaboration with the National Biodiversity Authority for up-gradation to e-PBRs; identification of Biodiversity Heritage Sites; studies to be taken for Insitu and Ex-situ conservation of threatened species and creation of mass awareness on the benefits of Biodiversity and its conservation.

Boosting Exports

Kashmiri vendor selling shawl in a market Srinagar on Monday 02 January 2017 Embroidered shawls made from Pashmina wool are among Kashmir’s best-known handicrafts and are exported worldwide. International trade
PHOTO BY BILAL BAHADUR

The government is working on restructuring the existing Jammu and Kashmir Trade and Export Policy inline with the suggestions given by the Federation of Indian Export Organisations. The government has already identified products from various Jammu and Kashmir districts in accordance with One District One Product Programme of the Government of India and their list will be placed before Apex Level Export Promotion Committee for approval. Promotional programmes and workshops for awareness of the public will also be held to boost exports. The Government would reduce procedural formalities for export transactions by way of fast processing of export-related documents, like issuance of licenses and Import Export Codes and efforts would be made to integrate SWIFT, Single Window Interface for Trade system with the Single Desk Portal. Multimodal Logistics Parks will also be setup with the help of the Government of India for which discussions are already underway. ‘Invest JK Desks’would be established, preferably at JK House in metro cities and at offices of foreign embassies in India. Export Facilitation Centres would be set up to provide end to end ground support to artisans who are trying to access foreign markets. EFCs would also be integrated with Common Facility Centres to act as one-stop solution for design, finance, operations, logistic, documentation, professional advice, branding and marketing etc. The meeting in this regard was chaired by Principal Secretary to Lt Governor, Nitishwar Kumar.

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